05/29/2020 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – During a recent televised speech, a senior Shi’a religious figure called for the scrapping of Lebanon’s 1989 Taif Agreement. This agreement, which ended the country’s civil war, distributed equal power between Sunnis, Shi’as, and Christians in government.
The agreement’s critic, Grand Jaafarite Shiite Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan, believes that dissolving the agreement would free the country of quotas and sects and thus would create a strong, just institution. Other government officials have stated their dedication to maintaining the Taif Agreement. Shi’a leaders and Hezbollah members have avoided public comment on the issue.
While some Christians have called for implementation of a federal system in Lebanon, a dissolvement of the Taif Agreement would likely mean less voice for the Christian community. Religious minorities would find little representation in a non-Taif government, especially with such small numbers in their communities. Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East with a constitutionally required Christian president. Hezbollah, a terrorist organization / political party backed by Iran, has pushed for stronger influence in the government.
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